Are you interested in being a nanny? Good with schedules? Consider yourself to be a night owl? Do you have a way of comforting sick children? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might want to consider being an Overnight Nanny.
What is an Overnight Nanny?
An overnight nanny is someone hired to help with the evening routine, care during sleeping hours, and the morning routine. This particular type of care is a huge help with parents who work overnight shifts, travel for work, or have a high-needs child. It can also be temporary or as needed. There are families that need overnight care for children of all ages.
Newborn Care Specialists
Inside the field of overnight is the NCS specialty, or Newborn Care Specialist. NCSs are fairly common because they often support first-time parents—assisting from the time they leave the hospital up until around 12 weeks. They can provide:
- SIDS Checks
- Nighttime Feedings
- Circumcision Care
- Bottle Preparation & Cleaning
- Organization & Maintenance of Nursery
- Sleep Training
- Education Resources
- Assistance with Feeding/Sleeping Issues
There is a certification to be an official Newborn Care Specialist. It’s a 3-day training program that requires a minimum of working 1800 hours and at least one year of experience with newborns.
What Makes A Good Overnight Nanny?
Before making the shift from day to night, understand the differences between the two. Keep reading to see if you’re a good fit for a night nanny job.
You’re Punctual & Plan Ahead
When interviewing with a family, make sure to get their full needs and expectations. It will help you plan out what your work time will look like exactly. You’re either needed to create a schedule that benefits the family or take control of what the family already has in place.
Overnight shifts typically occur from 6pm-8am. So whichever schedule you agree to, make sure it works for you and that you keep it consistent. Within the time, your shift will probably consist of most or all of the following:
- Wind-Down Time
- Bedtime Routine
- Sleep Monitoring
- Morning Routine
Your sleeping arrangements will be based on this schedule as determined by the family when you first meet. Build in time to rest on your off-time as needed. Older children will usually sleep through the night mostly uninterrupted. With younger kids, your ears will be on alert at all times. And with infants and newborns, you might be sleep training so there wouldn’t be much rest as you will be up quite often. Bottom line: you’re still on the clock when the child is sleeping.
You’re OK With Minimal Playtime
Overnight nannies don’t have the typical “fun” duties of being a nanny. Most of the work is in support of the parents and the family, not just the child. The focus of your job is on the necessary routines that keep everyone healthy and fully rested for the next day.
Once the child is wound down and in bed, your job continues. Typically with:
- Cleaning Up Toys
- Washing Dishes
- Preparing Breakfast
If the child is sick, or can’t sleep/ have a nightmare. They would come to you for comfort, and reassurance. Otherwise, you’re working to make sure the rest of the house is ready for when everyone wakes up.
Your Personal Life is Flexible
Your personal routines will need to shift in order to be an effective overnight nanny. Be sure you’re able to:
- Have a proper sleep schedule during the day.
- Eat “dinner” in the morning and “breakfast” in the evening.
- Manage your schedule to run your own errands before or after work.
After talking with the parent you can better understand what they need from you; which allows you to know how to plan ahead for your needs. You’ll be able to give your best when you are well rested and mentally prepared.
Like any nanny position, it will have it’s good and bad days. Be as prepared as you can and keep the lines of communication open with the parents. The reward is in the job itself, and if daytime isn’t a perfect match, then testing the overnight nanny role may be the saving grace for your nanny career.